More Cat Care Information:
When a cat has Feline Leukemia, his immune system will be compromised. Apart from this, he also develops anemia and the growth of abnormal tumors. He develops other diseases such as cancer. He will most likely live around 3.5 more years, as a majority of FeLV-infected cats do.
|General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home|
|You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.|
|General Cat Care #2: Feeding|
|An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).|
Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.
If you are a cat care giver, it is essential for you to know how you can prevent the spread of the disease among cats in your foster cat home. Knowledge and understanding of the disease, as well as other contagious diseases, can certainly be a big factor in lengthening the lives of cats.
Licking is one of the common forms of transmission as FeLV can be acquired through licking. Moreover, placenta-transmission (i.e. mother to baby) is also another common form. Kittens are more vulnerable to the condition because their immune system are still weak until they reach 4 months old, thus resistance to the disease is also not that strong.
The sad truth is that it takes awhile for symptoms to become evident. In fact, it could take months, or even years, before the symptoms show. Unless you get your cat tested, it is unlikely that you will find out if he has FeLV during the first few months that he has it.
|General Cat Care #3: Grooming|
|Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs|
|General Cat Care #4: Handling|
|To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.|
|General Cat Care #5: Housing|
|Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.|
How can you keep your cats safe from this rather deadly disease? Below are some of the things that you can do. Actually, these are what you SHOULD do, if you want to keep your cats free from FeLV, and this is particularly important if you have a foster cat home.
- First, keep your infected cats separate from healthy ones.
- Second, have your cats vaccinated. But before you do so, please bear in mind that the vaccines do not work for all cats.
- Third, test your cats, especially those that you own (if you have a foster cat home).
- Fourth, do not get more cats until the preceding fostered cats already have new owners.
- Fifth, make sure feeding plates are separated and always disinfected.
- Sixth, clean and disinfect their litter box at least two times a week.
- Lastly, if an FeLV-infected cat gets a new home, see to it that you inform the new owner of the cat's condition and educate him on how he can take care of the cat.
If you are a foster cat caregiver, you are taking on a huge responsibility of ensuring that the cats are kept healthy. This is particularly important if you also have your own cats, on top of the foster cats. Always see to it that you have your cats tested for FeLV and other transmittable diseases.
You run the risk of spreading diseases if you have many cats in your home but if you have a good understanding on the dos and don'ts, then you should not have a problem keeping every cat safe and healthy. Additionally, you might also want to consider getting cat health insurance plan as the management of feline cancer or other diseases brought about by Feline Leukemia entails costs that may really hurt your budget.
|General Cat Care #6: Identification|
|If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.|
|General Cat Care #7: Litter Box|
|All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).|